Saturday, October 03, 2009

THE LATE GREAT CLAUDIA JENNINGS

This weekend marks an especially sad anniversary for movie fans-- it's been 30 years since the tragic passing of great B-movie actress Claudia Jennings in a terrible car crash. Movie fans love Claudia because of her roles in so many of these cheesy redneck action flicks that rolled out in the Seventies -- ones where she'd rob banks using dynamite, or race around the roller derby track. Really fun stuff. Me, I really liked her in The Great Texas Dynamite Chase (aka Dynamite Women), where she blew up things and had a couple of memorable scenes where she wore some really hot denim shorts.

I notice the folks over at Temple of Schlock were planning on doing a big weekend blog-a-thon in her memory to pay tribute to her, and it was meant to be all weekend, but the last time I checked they haven't posted a thing. Hopefully they'll start posting something about Claudia soon. I notice Popcorn & Sticky Floors is taking part in it with a Claudia tribute post. Hopefully there will be a few more.

I thought this was a good opportunity to put up some old movie posters of the movies Claudia starred in. This was back in the era of cheap R-rated movies that would play at your local drive-ins before audiences of rednecks and other blue-collar folks. That era is long over -- the drive-ins have largely bitten the dust, and you just don't see movies from the likes of Roger Corman or those folks anymore, in spite of the efforts of folks like Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez to keep the spirit of these old movies alive. What is particularly sad is when you think of the projects out there that Claudia could have been a part of. If Claudia had lived, I have no doubt Tarantino would have used her for a role in one of his movies, the same way he brought back Pam Grier for that role in Jackie Brown. I think Claudia definitely would have been involved with Grindhouse -- even though she was really more of a drive-in queen than a "grindhouse" player. In my opinion Death Proof was a Claudia Jennings-style movie all the way, because she loved to appear in movies that had fast cars in them.


(Above: the trailer for Claudia's final motion picture, David Cronenberg's Fast Company -- shot in Edmonton, believe it or not.)

Fast cars -- fast woman. My kind of girl. Enjoy the posters, guys.





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